Abstract

In general there are two schools of thought on whether a Muslim woman can become apolitical leader. One school forbids it, while the other allows it. This study will argue that thecontroversy surrounding women’s political leadership that exists in the Islamic discourse isnot merely a matter of isntinbāţ (deductive inquiry) regarding the meaning of Qur’anic verseand tradition (al-nuşūş) and the difference in dalīl (reference) that is used in interpretation asstated by previous scholar, but also involves various other factors. These factors includepersonal background, ideology and audience. The data has been obtained from studying theQur’anic verse (al-Nisā` /4:34) referred to by those who prohibit female leadership. Theprimary reference is Tafsir al-Mishbah by Quraish Shihab. The data are approached by using adiscourse analysis. The standpoints expressed by this author did not happen in a vacuum, butwere influenced by the author’s perception and the ideology of the interpreter of his work.Thus the significance of this study is to show that Qur’anic verses especially those allied to therole of women, can be construed in various ways that are in accordance with a particularscholar’s propensities.